Put the oldest daughter on the bus this morning and realized that it was actually light at 6:00 this has to mean that spring is not too far off. This is the time of the year for anticipation of the upcoming season and planning trips for the early spring. For me it means cranking up the vice and tying lots of flies. Most years I will have dozens and dozens of flies to tie to fill boxes for guiding. I like to do as much of it preseason as possible so then I only have to tie newer patterns during the season. What really helps with this is keeping a detailed journal of all my trips both personal and guide trips. I have kept one since 1982 when I needed a subject for a college creative writing class. Over the years it has been one of my best tools to make me a better fly fisherman. I can look back at weather patterns, water flows or even lack of rain back to 82 and see what worked and did not.
This year I actually started way back in December tying just in case we had a winter like last year so I could get out without feeling guilty. I spend a lot of time tying for the shop in March and early April but that always ends up being between 10pm-2am most nights. Well the winter shaped up to be pretty normal so looks like fishing will be another few weeks off. I know some people are getting out, my buddy Steve e-mailed me this morning saying he got out yesterday and got a couple that made 7 so far this year. I am really jealous of him. Not only that he got to fish at all but that he is new at fly fishing and has that need to get out. I think that is why this part of the year is special to me because I get that feeling after a couple of month of not being on the water I really need to get out and renew that love of fly fishing.
Working and hanging out at fly and tackle shops over the past 20 years I it funny how some fly fishermen think that having the best of everything will make it better or easier, while it may make it better it is not easy at first. I always make a point in my beginners class that, if coming from spin fishing, they have to be willing to catch less trout for a season or two but once it clicks there is usually not turning back. Speaking of stuff I just picked up a new rod that I have wanted for a couple of years. I finally got my Hardy Zenith 9’ 4 weight rod and cannot wait to fish it. It was a deal I could not pass up so I jumped. I have wanted one since I first cast the proto type with the sales rep 3 years ago. I t has a very progressive action which makes close in casting, say 10-15 feet, easy but it has a power to boom out an 80’ cast if needed. Two springs ago at the shops spring fling I had a customer, who had only tried casting once before, throwing decent loops and 30’ of line in no time with that rod. Unlike the many faster rods these are much easier to cast you do not need perfect timing. One thing I have been impressed with all of their products is, unlike some US companies who build great casting rods but they seem to be poor tools to fight fish, the Hardy rod do both well.
Just an FYI over the next month there are a few things going on that I would like to let you know about. This Saturday March 16, 2013 we are doing open tying at the shop. Monday March 18th I will be at the Western Mass Fly fishermen’s expo doing a program on small stream & nymph fishing. Saturday April 13th will be the shops (JTs fly shop) annual spring fling weekend. Many reps and local clubs will be there along with a fishermen’s flea market. Stop in to one of these and say hey.